too lazy to make music
rectifier
Thread Starter
#1
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
rectifier's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
too lazy to make music

Hi guys,

I don't know where to start with this.

*lies down on the low end shrink couch sobbing pathetically*

I have a macbook pro, bought copies of Logic Pro and Ableton Live, Stylus RMX, an apogee duet, couple of nice mics (including an at4060) and I can't bang out a tune. I'm a good guitar player and often get home and lazily play one of my electrics unplugged or one of my acoustic guitars. From time to time I load up Logic pro and go through the stock presets to see what nice noises I can make with my yamaha midi piano (p90)/3 octave midi controller but I don't really know how to record well or where to start. I have created mental barriers that means if I sit down with Logic, I will grapple with midi and settings trying to get something to work but often leave it all frustrated and head back to the couch with my unplugged guitar (I have a nice amp and some great pedals but can't make any noise here in apartment). I've been doing this for about 7 years now and have recorded maybe 3 minutes of audio - all just recorded in, no editing and it's pretty much crap.

Should I just give up? I have nice songs I have written on guitar but I don't know how to program drums to suit my song ideas. I think I'm just too lazy, but I really would like to see if I can make something out of my song ideas. I have a non audio consultancy job and run my own company so this takes up a lot of time.

I guess I want someone to say - ffs go make some music already!

I also have an mpc500 which I don't know how to use and a trigger finger. I think one of the barriers I have created is a result of having GAS from time to time and a low grade penchant for new product box opening - so I buy stuff and jump from thing to thing and never get close to mastering anything with this computer stuff - It's as if I'm always on the introduction chapter.

I realise I'm opening myself up to all kinds of abuse here.
#2
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #2
IMO you are being lazy but thats your choice. You don't have to be.

1. Choose to learn your systems and schedule time to do it.

2. Get with others who are good at making music and vibe off each other. Always helps me out.

Have you fallen out of love with music?
#3
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #3
Gear addict
 

Sell all but the mics.

Buy a 4 track cassette recorder.

Record your guitar/vocals on to cassette.

Find some people who play other instruments to work with.

Record all of you to the cassette.

Go to studio.

Make Album.

Repeat.

#4
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #4
Gear addict
 

COuple things

1. Stop being a lazy chitbag, lol

2. learn how to use ultrabeat (software drum machine in Logic), it is not rocket science

3. set a basic beat and the pace you think fits the song.

4. Set up Duet, which should take 25 minutes tops

5. listen to the beat in your headphones and come in after the four count, and play your ass off until song is done (make the Demo's very short around 2-3 minutes. (if you can't play a short song why bother with a 11 minute Iron Maiden short story?)

6. do the vocal track, to the point where it is decent

7. 2nd guitar/leads

8. bass

9. learn to program fills for drums which are very easy if you learn how to make a beat in ultrabeat, do this after the arrangement is done and you like it.

10. learn to use EQ and effects last, why **** around with that chit know, write a good ****ing song first. Learn to separate the drum kit to their own track for better control of the bottom mids and top.

repeat

11. write 50 piece of chit songs until you learn your pace, sound, voice, and style, then you are on your way to the producing end (which means make it sound good with #10 above)

12. sell your music

13. go on world tour

14. have many women companions

15. die happy

BALLGAME!

I'm stuck on 10!

Good Luck
#5
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #5
Gear nut
 
vanpet's Avatar
 

it has nothing to do with laziness, it's fear of failing (or fear of succes, if you're good).

procrastination is not really laziness, it's more like a vicious disease you don't want because it will turn you into a zombie.
#6
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
SANDS's Avatar
 

Haha,

Love the post. I'm sure all of us have been there at some point, no matter for hobby or job.

I worked as an audio engineer for years and sold my business last year. It feels great to get out of it, so I'm on the other side of the fence. I would much rather sit around and strum my acoustic on the couch.

So back to the topic at hand.

This stuff can become overwhelming if you let it and of course it's just like with anything else it's practice that makes perfect. I'm sure you didn't just pick up the guitar one day and suddenly you knew everything about how to play it.

Start simple and learn your gear, you have tons, looks like you got lazy and turned into a consumer *****. Which none of us on here can deny( I LOVE GEAR!). You have some nice stuff, so go learn how it works. The internet is a great tool as well, just about every question or tutorial is out there.

It is easy to get caught up in gear, it becomes a crutch, but even the best gear doesn't record and write for you.

Since you are a guitar player how about a simple guitar recording to start with?

The duet is a great choice, it works well with your setup and is super easy to use.

Setup some simple sessions and make some crap songs, focusing on the engineering side and the not the musician side. LEARN YOUR GEAR! An older engineer from Southern Illinois Univerisity taught me alot about that one. He taught me there are two hats to wear and you can't wear them both at the same time. Set up times for the engineer hat to go on and get everything setup and know your gear and what it does. Take a break, come back and put on the musician hat and think only about the music. Once you know your gear, you can switch back and forth pretty fast.

Also as another poster has stated, working with others is great for motivation, ideas, learning for sure.

Be patient this stuff takes a long time to master just like anything else. Make sure you are having fun, if it's not fun and it's not driving you to want to learn it, the poster with the four track idea might be a better option, by staying in your musician mode all the time and letting someone else engineer.

You gotta want to do it, that's pretty much it.
#7
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #7
I get lazy when I'm not getting paid to make music haha... Oh god, I've gone to the darkside
#8
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
antoniosolo's Avatar
 

lazy

find a like minded individual who want to play and maybe he will hit the record button. Two are better than 1!
#9
20th April 2009
Old 20th April 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

as stated, your best, immediate solution that will both inspire you (sounds like you really need inspiration) is to get with 1 or 2 other people who you connect with musically and go from there. lots of people go through what you do, everyday...
#10
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #10
Gear nut
 

I have to agree with what most people have said here, and that is you don't have to go it alone. People are so obsessed with doing everything themselves these days, when music really should be a collaborative effort.

Why should you have to learn all those other skills when all you want to do is play guitar? If you focus on being a great guitarist, and find someone else to handle the production aspects, then your end result will be much better than if you tried to do everything yourself.
#11
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #11
Gear maniac
 
PyroDano's Avatar
 

I pretty much go through the same thing a lot throughout my life.I've been playing drums on and off for over 25yrs.I've been out of a band and steady practice for 3 yrs,and only have occasional jams.Yes i am lazy.
Ever since i found gear slutz i have had GAS.It makes me happy to buy gear period.I have been buying stuff i never knew i needed since i signed up here.I know eventually i will get out of this slump.Pretty much all the recording gear i have bought(preamps,compressor,mics,headphones,headphone amp,ect,ect) hasn't even been used and sits covered on the shelf,and i have some decent stuff gearwise.I have tried to find like minded people from this forum to no avail(hey Syracuse NY).
I have recently bought a electric/acoustic guitar and i'm trying to learn how to play so i'll have someone to record,lol.I also have an electric,a bass,bought a cabnit and guitar head and i'm about to drop another $1500 on guitar stuff(pedals,a better cab,better pickup) and im not even a guitarist.All in hopes that something will spark my interest again.I know one day i'll find other people that share the same interests and put this stuff and the things i have learned here to good use.
One thing i have learned is that you cannot force inspiration,But man buying gear makes me feel good.Hang in there....
#12
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
aclarson's Avatar
I went through a phase with this and it didn't have anything to do with my love for music, or my skill, or my ability to create. For me it was all about life and my happiness in it. If something in life makes you unhappy, you need a change, bro. But if you're content, you still need PASSION man. Probably the most dangerous thing in the world for an artist is status quo normalcy. I honestly need a little chaos in my life to fuel my creative energy. It's hard to get passionate when your day consists of go to work, come home, sit on the couch, get high, play guitar. I find intermitten chaos with calm periods in between works the best. After trying it with my love life more times than I'd care to remember, I recommend the chaos come in a slightly less sadistic form. Ah, the life of a musician. Even worse, the life a musician's lover.


I do agree greatly with those who say to get a collaborator, though. A little competition is always good for fire.
#13
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #13
has all the gear he needs
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 

Set up your rig to track your acoustic....spend some time noodling to get it to sound good with one (or more) of your mics.

Then just leave it set up.

When you come home and pick up the acoustic tomorrow......or the next day, just hit the red button and play. Guaranttee you'll get something to mix eventually.
#14
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I'm feeling it as well. I'm in a huge creative rut, I want to work but everytime i sit down I come up with things I don't like or come up with nothing at all!!

If its not a creative thing, and just a problem of getting some drums sequenced, then thats the easy part!! heck, just use some loops for now to record your guitar over and go from there. If you have an idea already, just get it down and extrapolate. I've found that once you start its easier to keep going, but those first few steps in a song are SOOO HARD!
#15
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #15
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by rectifier View Post
Hi
Should I just give up?
I realise I'm opening myself up to all kinds of abuse here.
sell all your audio gear, buy a gun & enough bullets
#16
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Old Goat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Set up your rig to track your acoustic....spend some time noodling to get it to sound good with one (or more) of your mics.

Then just leave it set up.

When you come home and pick up the acoustic tomorrow......or the next day, just hit the red button and play. Guaranttee you'll get something to mix eventually.
+1

Any (honest) writer will tell you that there is nothing more intimidating than a blank piece of paper (I was freelancing back in the days of the Royal Brontosaurus). Music is the same. Unclenny is right on--set up and play. Play something you've written, a song you just like, or just noodle. Took me a while to get into the computer recording thing, and all the DAW and plugs and on and on, but I'm learning, and comfortable with it.

The poster who mentioned fear of failure or success is right also--that can be crippling. My take? get off your ass and play for a while, and make a point of playing regularly with the red button on. If you just don't get into it...

JMWAO, YMMV.
#17
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Stevil's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Set up your rig to track your acoustic....spend some time noodling to get it to sound good with one (or more) of your mics.
Then just leave it set up.
+1
i'm most productive when everything is setup & ready to go & all i have to do is hit the button & play. the problem with all this computer/electronic crap is you can spend an eternity tweaking your configuration & experimenting with options, never accomplishing anything. i lost my head completely for a good year or so exploring possibilities, but i've since come out the other end able to put together a song now & then. if you've been at it 7 years thats a long time to be lost at sea, i recommend finding someone with some technical aptitude to work with. maybe a keyboard guy who can drop a beat or loop for you to jam over & keep an eye on the record button.
#18
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #18
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth.h.rees View Post
Sell all but the mics.

...
sell the mics too

keep the guitar

use the money to take guitar lessons

get a new place to live or a rehearsal space where you can play

join a band

write some songs

teach the band the songs


then think about recording again
#19
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by space2012 View Post
sell all your audio gear, buy a gun & enough bullets
Nah, then he'd just sit around all day listening to Matthew Sweet's "(I Need) Someone To Pull The Trigger"...
#20
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
noah330's Avatar
 

SANDS said what I was going to reccomend. Sometimes when I'm not feeling my chops but still want to do something productive I go into my studio and get my MIDI stuff all working right, get my DAW templates ready, maybe type up some of my handwritten lyrics in Word and get projects setup and ready to go so when I am ready to lay down tracks everything is ready to go.

I hate being in the mood to record and dealing with technical problems.
RTR
#21
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #21
RTR
Lives for gear
 
RTR's Avatar
 

I know right where your coming from, I make my music ALONE, and lot's of times just going to the closet to unpack a mic to record a nice verse I came up with on my acoustic seems like to much trouble, I have ton's of songs in my head and record maybe 1 a month, I have all the music but find it hard to sit down and write lyrics, SO..whats the point right? Wrong..lately I have been recording a lot when unexpected, Ill be playing my guitar with no intentions of recording, and BAM..Ill come up with something and pry my ass out of this chair and record it... don't give up, just forget about it, the less pressure I put on myself, the more that comes out!!
#22
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 
HEADROOM's Avatar
 

Staying focused is what counts....I ve seen good musicians turn to Studio owners. The studio becomes the new focus and the music is postponed again and again.....

Maybe recording is not your thing. Put it away and play with people.....hanging around on the couch is not inspiring.....although I think many of us went to a phase like that at a certain point of time .....
#23
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #23
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 

Looks like there's really not much to add here... I'd just reiterate that simplifying your tasks is going to help. I don't think you have to sell all your gear and buy a cassette 4-tracker, though.


You need a series of very small, approachable, limited projects to build your confidence. Don't twiddle with one and jump over to the other without finishing the first.

But do set very small tasks that will build, one on the other, that will give you expanding familiarity with your tools.

So, for instance, your first job might be simply a one track recoring of yourself strumming (and singing if you sing) a piece all the way through. Don't make it some long, difficult thing! Shoot straight for your most basic skills and then be willing to settle for good enough. You want to get done and have a finished something or other at the end. You want product. So you can prove to yourself that you did something. Now, it doesn't have to be good product -- because the goal you've set for yourself is simply to get done with one small, doable project. So, you know, settle for less. These are learning excercises, confidence builders. Any sort of perfectionist impulse will not serve you well at this point.

Set a very small task. Give yourself a couple hours to do it. And when it's done, set yourself a task that's just a little ways beyond. Move in small steps and build on what you've done.


I remember after I first put together my 90s project studio. I finally found myself with a rig that could record super clean tracks (really a revelation after a decade plus of four track 1/4" reels), where I had decent instances of basic tools (also for a change)... and though I'd recorded over 100 finished tracks on my old 4 tracks... I was high and dry. After all the work and stress of putting things together, I just didn't have much left in me... it seemed like.

But I did what I outlined above, finally. I said, hell with it. I'm just going to do some very, very simple recordings to get rolling again.

Like other procrastinators, the hardest thing -- the very hardest thing -- is to get rolling in the first place.

Once you've got momentum, things start taking care of themselves.
#24
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Interesting post.

I've been recording for about 5 years. My issue has been getting the following to all happen at once:

- finding the time to record (I have a day job as well as many nights not getting home until 10pm)

- finding quiet in my house (my wife and kids live here too :-) )

- being in the mood and feeling the musical inspiration

- having everything set up to record. I share the basement space with everyone else here. My desktop setup requires at least 20 minutes till I have all the things ready to record. My laptop setup means bring preamps and interface plus mics and cables and stands upstairs... also 20 minutes. In the past this setup time was enough to get me out of the mood to record. Especially since it would usually happen at 11pm.

My solution (that I suggest to anyone who can relate to this situation) has been to buy a zoom H2 for those moments and have a stand near where you usually are at those inspired moments. Setup time 1 minute! - Ask the family for 5 minutes of total quiet and start recording!

I've been doing this for over a year. Multitrack has mostly been on hold however the musical juices are flowing! I don't mope over the fact that I'm not getting my musical thoughts into the world any more. Now I'm at stage 2. I plan on taking one of those simple recordings and begin redoing them slowly with all the tracks that would allow for a good mix, when I can find a way to pull that off!
#25
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #25
Gear addict
 
E-Irizarry's Avatar
 

I really like this thread. There is a lot of negativity as well as positivity. But the positivity shines here though.
rectifier
Thread Starter
#26
21st April 2009
Old 21st April 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 
rectifier's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
wow guys - i'm overwhelmed - some fantastic posts in there, great advice. A lot of you seem to know exactly what I am going through and maybe others in future can read this and get some good tips. I wish I could answer every post but then I would turn into a post count w h o r e.

To add a little bit to the original post; what happened was that throughout the 90s I played in bands and had some success here and there but by the end of the 90s, all the guys in bands got married and had kids and just stopped being interested in music making. To rebel against this stock progression in life I thought hmm - I will build a nice rig at home (I ended up with a digi002/2 eventides/manley pre/expensive plugins/neumann mics - I know I know..), get into electro (I'm really a rock/acoustic guy that delved deeply into electro late 90s) and do it all myself but found myself to be quite lonely in front of all my apparent arcane acquisitions. I don't think I have fallen out of love with music as I still play pretty much every day and never stop writing but my girlfriend looks at me weird and actually hums some of my songs I have noticed and wonders what the hell I am going to with all this! I should add that I am 37, been playing guitar for 22 years and nostalgia for the old days (jamming with friends, playing concerts) does get me from time to time. Hey I did start off saying I was on the shrink couch.

Ok so to the gear and addressing the plight - I like the advice on starting a simple project and having things set up already - how many times do I struggle with the tech when I have a great idea I do not know, but it's an unhealthy amount! I will try that for sure. I bought some books on logic and live but kept skipping from one to the other and getting nowhere as it's just too much to fathom from the offset. I won't be able to mess around on music computers with others at this stage but I could go for part time band thing - I agree it's very important to play with others and feed off ideas etc. Time is an issue but sitting around isn't that productive I know and eats into more valuable things I could be doing.

Staying focused is key - I hear that.

ps I got addicted to wow as well last 4 years, I know this will be frowned upon (it is as they say as addictive as any drug I'm sure) but that is in the past now and that's led me to having a nice chunk of my life back, leading to the post in the first place, I feel quite excited - having loads of creative energy just sitting there all bottled up is very frustrating.

Onwards and upwards - you guys rock - thanks for the help.

*gets off the couch and gets guitar then sits down back down on the couch and remembers to press the red button this time*

#27
22nd April 2009
Old 22nd April 2009
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Old Goat's Avatar
 

Good for you!
#28
22nd April 2009
Old 22nd April 2009
  #28
Gear maniac
 

Yeah man you just gotta do it. If you have something you think is even remotely worth recording throw up a mic as quickly as possible(or keep one set up like others said) and hit record. Don't worry about mic placement or eq or anything. Then after you get it down, you can go back and record properly. I have had a lot of cool song parts go bye bye because I was too lazy to get them down and I forgot them. Make some rough demos and then go back and re record properly.
#29
22nd April 2009
Old 22nd April 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Another thought: Part of what's holding you back is that there are too many things you are trying to make happen all at once.

Maybe the best way for you to begin recording is not to try to write a song. Instead, record a song you already know, and use that to learn the technical side of recording.
#30
22nd April 2009
Old 22nd April 2009
  #30
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Right now, it sounds like the computer, and technology in general, is your enemy.

If none of your toys are inspiring you, then get rid of them. What you need is a setup that is simple, fun and inspiring. Right now computers, technology and gadgets are draining you of your energy and spontaneity.

Inspiration comes from trying to get the most out of very limited resources. When you start out with unlimited capabilities, there's nowhere for the seed of inspiration to to take root and grow. Start out by giving yourself a simple project with strict parameters. Here's an example:

"My project today is to track a piece of music. Parameters are: 1) Must be completed in 3 hours or less, 2) No electronic instruments, and 3) All percussion must be performed using nothing more than household objects."

An even better idea for you might be to prohibit yourself from using the computer (or anything that attaches to a computer) and see what you can come up with. The idea is to get you to think of creative ways of working around the limitations you have in place. If this doesn't bring you back in touch with some sort of divine underlying passion for music and expression ... then it's possible that none exists, and it may be time to just sell everything and find another hobby.
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